Research finding summaries

Survey Finds Economists’ Politics Loom Large in their Views of Capitalist Crises

We doubt the extent to which the Marxist tradition has developed an adequate social psychology of knowledge.  People’s politics cannot, of course, be simply read off their class position alone.

By |2019-03-28T20:01:03-04:00Mar 23, 2019|

Struggles New and Old: Yellow Vests, the French Revolution and 21-Century Anti-Capitalism

The yellow vest movement has displayed a curious mix of modern and pre-modern forms of struggle, some harking back to the French revolution. These old forms might very well become features of twenty first century anti-capitalist protest.

By |2019-02-26T13:06:53-04:00Feb 26, 2019|

Neoliberalism After Apartheid: From South Africa to Palestine/Israel

25 years after the end of apartheid, the lives of working-class black people remain extremely precarious in South Africa. What went wrong? And how can Palestinians avoid these pitfalls as they envision a post-apartheid future?

By |2019-01-30T18:08:45-04:00Jan 30, 2019|

Why no socialism in Sweden?

The Wage-Earner Funds in Sweden is one of the few serious attempts in an advanced capitalist society to socialize the means of production. While it is commonly believed that the plan failed due to intransigent and well-coordinated capitalist opposition, its failure was primarily due to the high degree of centralization of the labor unions pushing it.

By |2019-01-23T11:28:35-04:00Jan 23, 2019|

Green paradoxes: How climate change policy preserves climate change causes

Why are societies failing to effectively respond to climate change? Why is it that “environmental degradation increases amid the growth of environmental attention and concern”? Environmental sociologists have examined many possible confounding factors, including The inadequacy of mainstream climate policies. We build upon the latter analysis by drawing from the Marxist conception of ideology as ideas and practices that conceal social contradictions. We argue that dominant climate policy mechanisms (“green” markets, technology, and growth) are based on assumptions that conceal a “capital-climate contradiction” or a “technical potential-productive relations contradiction.”

By |2018-11-26T09:24:02-04:00Nov 26, 2018|

The state and financialization: explaining recent European labor market policy

The financialized nature of current European political economy has pushed governments to pursue policies which are hostile to workers’ interests, even when these may disrupt stability and growth. Two policies in particular – punitive active labor market policies (i.e. workfare) and pan-European wage restraint – have both been unconvincing as drivers of growth and employment, and neither appear to contribute to institutional stability. But both have been aggressively implemented by many European states in spite of these failings.

Dispossession through delivery: With and against Polanyi(ans)

Can governments do nothing but oscillate between the market-led destruction of social life and what used to answer to the name “the welfare state”? Levenson challenges this opposition, taking as his implicit point of departure that dispossession is not only an ongoing process central to neoliberalism, but to capitalism tout court.

By |2018-10-31T11:05:16-04:00Oct 31, 2018|